The mum of a youngster who can only eat mashed potato, yoghurt and custard because of an eating disorder is embroiled in a health and safety row with his school over his meals.
Five-year-old Bradley Squires, who at six-months-old was diagnosed with hypersensitivity eating disorder by doctors at Chesterfield Royal hospital, is so averse to textured food that he vomits if he eats anything with lumps.
Doctors have advised he should have mashed potato for lunch five days a week, but his mum says his school, Dunston Primary say they can’t prepare it and he can’t bring it in a thermal flask because of health and safety rules.
“I am having to go home, prepare this mash potato and bring it him to school for dinner time every day” said single mum Kerri, of Wyedale Court, Mastin Moor. “I am constantly worrying about his health, and I want to get a job and I can’t if I need to be taking this time out every lunch time.
“The response from the school has been that if we don’t like it we can leave, but Bradley has so many good friends there.”
She added: “It makes me angry that this one thing could change everything. Just letting him take it in a thermal flask could change Bradley’s life and change mine.”
Little Bradley’s condition used to be so severe that he would vomit if he even saw anyone chewing on food. Under guidance from the hospital his condition has improved but he can’t be referred for mental health treatment until he is seven.
“I don’t know when he will get better, this could go on and on and on” added Kerri. “I want him to have a happy life and be able to enjoy eating.”
Dunston headteacher Paul Burgess, said: “We’ve been working closely with this child’s family to accommodate his special dietary needs and will arrange a meeting with them at the beginning of the new term to try to resolve the issue.”